Thursday, June 2, 2011

Guest Blogger Thursday: Who Inspires you? By Beck Hatch

Who Inspires You?

These days, fashion magazines, the internet, celebrities and models flood our culture and our vision every single day. Images of our culture's ideal standards are virtually impossible to escape. But what did people do before photography, the internet and TV? Before we had beautiful actresses and models strutting the runway, who inspired fashion and modeled the ideal beauty standard? The answer, especially in Elizabethian times, was royalty, or at the very least, the artistocrats. For those in Elizabethian England, the beautiful, fair haired and pale skinned Queen Elizabeth was the ultimate standard of sophistication. Her naturally red hair, pale skin and bright eyes were painstakingly sought after. Light hair and pale skin are common beauty standards (today many still consider blonde hair to be the ultimate beauty), but the Queen was the face of the age. A high hairline was also very popular, and women would pluck the hair on their hairline back as much as an inch (sometimes more) to have a higher forehead. Pale skin was popular throughout Europe for centuries. People who worked out in the fields had tan skin, which is why the paler your skin, the wealthier you were thought to be (also, the more plump you were, the wealthier you were). To get the fair hair, women would sit in the sun for hours, wearing visors to keep their skin from getting tan. If a woman (or man!) wanted the proper hair without all the effort, wigs were used (and very, very common). Elsewhere in Europe, the Renaissance was in full swing and the standards of beauty were very similar. Women would adorn their hair with jewels or ribbons, especially if they didn't want to lighten it. What did people do before Sephora? They got their desired skin tone (practically white, no bronzer needed) by using powders that often contained lead, and lip and cheek stains made from berries and mercury.

So how can Queen Elizabeth inspire you? While I don't recommend trying all of the beauty tips I learned from reading about the women of this time (i.e. the lead and mercury, or urine to bleach hair which was used because it contains amonia), I think we could learn something from our pale friends in the past. This summer, kick the SPF up a notch and save yourself the sunburn, the potential cancer, and tell everyone you are channeling your inner queen. Also, if you want to adorn your hair with something fun and you don't have a lot of precious jewels lying around, find a headband with flowers or fake jewels, feather or ribbons, which you can find practically anywhere.  A good place to check is because you can search tons of stores at once and find exactly what you're looking for.  If you need a good sunscreen, check out Aveeno's sunscreen line.  It is highly recommended by doctors, easily available and it even smells great! is a good place to start.

xoxo, Becky

1 comment:

  1. we still take our fashion trends from our leaders. Michelle Obama and the new princess stand out as the most recent examples. Let's just hope the queen's unicolor suits don't catch on!